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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    or just make up more nucs with the dequeened colony.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    i may not wait until all the brood is hatched, just most of it.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    then your sugar mite treatment will not work. all brood has to be hatched,

    thats the problem with that management idea, I have tossed the idea around many time, and like you say, it will likely be while making up nucs and without any other focus other than making nucs and controlling mites

    Im planning to use OA
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    I know that is a tough timetable to make work in northern climes just remember, though, if you are thinking of nucing with cells that you already have about two weeks until your queen is mated and laying and then another 8 days or so until the larvae becomes attractive to varroa so it's really just a matter of getting your timing right so you are spraying/treating at the 3 week mark as the last of the old brood is hatching. If there is a delay in mating you may be able to hold off a couple more days and get virtually all the drones treated as well.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    then your sugar mite treatment will not work. all brood has to be hatched,

    thats the problem with that management idea, I have tossed the idea around many time, and like you say, it will likely be while making up nucs and without any other focus other than making nucs and controlling mites

    Im planning to use OA
    you would be correct ian, if my goal was 100% varroa eradication, but it's not.

    i am using the working assumption that i will always have some varroa, and getting rid of most of them just before requeening with hopefully more resistant traits might give me a colony good enough to not have to intervene with again.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    jim, i am leaning toward using an incubator to hatch the virgins out with, and then introduce them to the nuc. i figure it will take a week for the virgins to get their wings and mate, and a little while for egg laying and brooding to commense.

    the dusting could be done at almost anytime it made sense.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Hmmm.... I get where you are coming from Daniel, and I often enjoy your posts. The article is not linked meaning none of us can read it. But it's either poorly written, or more likely, in this case you've read the article at a somewhat emotive, rather than realistic level.

    Thing is, you have no conception of how many hives this guy has, and how much work is involved. To comment on some of your points

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    It is as if treatments are more of a security blanket than anything else.
    You may be correct. This might be harsh reality to a guy with 1/2 a dozen hives, but a guy with thousands may have no option but use treatments as a security blanket.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    It was not the steadfastness to treat that caught my attention it was the admission that he had no idea one way or the other that it is even needed. Is he also completely unaware if it is making a difference? He has a $40,000 a year answer to a problem he really has no idea if he even has.
    I doubt the guy is a complete fool, to say he has no idea will be a misinterpretation. He will not throw $40,000 away just cos he's got too much money. Checking everything the way you think it should be done, then dealing with it anyway, plus the cost of lost opportunities, would likely cost more than $40,000. All things considered, he is likely taking the cheapest option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    What I don't get is the resistance to even seeking a diagnosis.....is also obviously driven by fear, irrational choices etc.
    How much do you think it would cost, to seek a diagnosis for thousands of nucs. How long would it take? What record keeping would be involved, have you thought this through? There will be more to his choices than fear and irrationality. You do not survive in this business if those are your motivators.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I guess that is what really hit me. This guy doesn't know what shape his bees are in. he doesn't want to know what shape they are in.
    I guess, that if you went and worked for the guy, you would gain a whole new understanding.

    Please don't take anything I've said personally, I do take your points. But I've also been in the business and can read a few things between the lines here. I don't think the guy is as ignorant as you suppose.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    oldtimer, you just passed your summer solstice.

    how's it hanging down under?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Suit yourself, two weeks is pretty much the benchmark for the beginning of egg laying when installing a 10 day cell. Seems like you are squeezing an already tight timeframe even more by introducing virgins. I am not sure I really get the advantage. As a side note do you have sbb and will the bottoms be a considerable distance off the ground. I have never really accepted the advantage of sugar dusting unless the mites fall well away from the hive.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    oldtimer, you just passed your summer solstice.

    how's it hanging down under?
    Well Christmas coming, getting ready for a day off. Busy busy though, powerful flow on taken everybody by surprise, bees filling boxes in days. That's in this area, anyway.

    Hey, some pretty stressy kind of threads lately, but time for some chill, you guys enjoy your Christmas, best wishes from New Zealand!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    you must have been a good boy this year if santa is giving you a powerful flow for Christmas!

    same back to ya my friend!

    it's bedtime here, later....
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Oldtimer, I did not provide a link intentionally. My post is not intended to draw attention to any individual and the beekeepers name is used in the article. i did not include it on purpose.

    It is my impression of a possible situation with beekeepers in general that I wanted to discuss. Not what some individual had to say.

    I have considered time factors and manageability and admit I don't have any experience to evaluate that on . I do think I am capable of being realistic. If there is time to treat every hive. How woudl that compare to the time taken to evaluate and then only have to treat the hives that need it. Time lost to evaluate as I am pretty sure that takes longer. time gained in not treating every hive.
    Some suggestion have been made in this thread as to how evaluations could be made. I have no idea how reliable they would actually prove to be. But take samples from a yard. if those samples indicate further sample are needed then do so. At some point you may end up saying just treat them all. You may also find that many hives do not need treating.

    How time labor and costs work out I woudl not know. I realize that would have a large part in determining what is effective and what is not.

    I agree that his choices are driven by fear and rational. that is why I question the appearance of that. Whatever the reason for his choices. that his business is successful is evidence it works. That alone conflicts with my overall impression.

    Nothing taken personal I appreciate your comments. I also appreciate the other conversations that have broken out.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    The article is not linked meaning none of us can read it.
    That problem is easy to solve. Here you go:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...RLP_story.html

    Here's the lead paragraphs:

    On a farm on the outskirts of Frederick, Kelly Rausch and Adam Finkelstein crack open a wooden beehive whose design dates to the 19th century. Inside, they point out a superbee they have made for the 21st century.In two months, the carefully bred queen bee has built a large, productive colony that knows how to cluster against the cold and fill the winter larder with honey.

    More important, her bees have sought out and destroyed a sneaky parasitic mite that feeds on their baby sisters. “The bees are definitely taking care of everything,” said Finkelstein from behind his veil.

    The desire for a bee that will look after itself may seem pretty basic. But with as many as one-third of honeybee colonies routinely dying off each year and the rest requiring extraordinary care, the quest for a better bee has become critical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Sure, but do like I did and start your own thread to do it.
    Apparently Daniel does not understand how the Beesource Forum works. Here's Lesson One: The originator of the thread does not get to control who posts replies, or control the content of those replies.
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 12-22-2012 at 10:46 PM. Reason: spelling
    Graham
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  14. #34
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Suit yourself, two weeks is pretty much the benchmark for the beginning of egg laying when installing a 10 day cell. Seems like you are squeezing an already tight timeframe even more by introducing virgins. I am not sure I really get the advantage. As a side note do you have sbb and will the bottoms be a considerable distance off the ground. I have never really accepted the advantage of sugar dusting unless the mites fall well away from the hive.
    thanks jim. and i appreciate the input from you and ian.

    some of this is armchair beekeeping, and i willing to adapt as i get underway with the plan.

    i have all solid bottoms. the nucs will have the bottom removed, dusted, and maybe left without a bottom for a day or two?

    of course, since they will be (essentially) broodless, without a queen, and without honey supers, formic and oxalic are potentially on the table.

    i may try a few nucs without dropping the mites at all to see what happens.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    >> may try a few nucs without dropping the mites at all to see what happens.

    do you want me to tell you what will happen? lol
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    >>Some suggestion have been made in this thread as to how evaluations could be made. I have no idea how reliable they would actually prove to be. But take samples from a yard. if those samples indicate further sample are needed then do so. At some point you may end up saying just treat them all. You may also find that many hives do not need treating.

    First point, the beekeeper should know his mite or nosema levels in his op, thats just good practice

    Beekeepers work averages, we work thresholds, we work numbers and we work volume. Its what has gotten us into some of the trouble that is currently facing us but it is a business model that has developed in much the same way all the rest of agriculture has gone and has proved huge success in bringing food to the planet.

    what your saying Daniel makes sense, but it doesnt quite work out that way.
    you dont understand what it means to work hives. When you plan to work through hundreds of hives in a day, you dont plan to sit down and get personal with each and every hive. You work the yard, and move on to the next. We prepare for rounds of work. It is what allows us to manage the beekeeping operations you currently see
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    >> may try a few nucs without dropping the mites at all to see what happens.

    do you want me to tell you what will happen? lol
    you could very well be right ian, but i hope not.

    here's the deal:

    i bought my bees from a supplier that started 13 years ago with trapped out ferals.

    he has never treated with anything, and looses very few hives.

    i started in the summer of 2010 with 4 hives, went to 10 in 2011, and 21 in 2012.

    i lost one to mites this year, but i attribute that to a poor emergency queen made by a weak nuc, and she likely didn't get mated very well. (i was too late to save this hive).

    turns out, unmanaged ferals are thriving in my area.

    i have not checked mite levels except on the one collapsed hive, so i don't know if i've been lucky, or if maybe these bees are just dealing with them.

    my working assumption is that my supplier's lack of losses, and my lack of losses so far may be due to having good bees.

    if so, i want to use mite counts going forward to select for queens and drones to propagate this.

    if i am lucky, and have good bees, then maybe just a brood break and a new start with a fresh 'good' queen will let a nuc with a few mites take off and end up like the majority of the others, i.e. thriving off treatments. time will tell.

    (i'm also hoping that my practices have improved to the point where i'm making life as stress free as possible for my bees while still exploiting them for more bees and honey)
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Squarepeg: Well it seems you are at a crossroads and have an interesting decision to make. In recent years I have not treated post brood break and each time they have come through the summer just fine but in those years we had come through the previous winter pretty clean as far as varroa counts go. There is also a chance that OA will set your brood back a bit though my experience was if it did slow them down it wasnt noticable. I do part ways with many of my commercial colleagues in believing that there is a "less can be better" phenomena,in regards to treating, that isn't fully understood. Let me be clear, though, if I had high mite counts in those bees the decision would be an easy one for me. I can't tell you what to do, though, but I will be interested in hearing of your results.
    Last edited by jim lyon; 12-23-2012 at 10:42 AM.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    >>

    First point, the beekeeper should know his mite or nosema levels in his op, thats just good practice

    Beekeepers work averages, we work thresholds, we work numbers and we work volume. Its what has gotten us into some of the trouble that is currently facing us but it is a business model that has developed in much the same way all the rest of agriculture has gone and has proved huge success in bringing food to the planet.

    what your saying Daniel makes sense, but it doesnt quite work out that way.
    you dont understand what it means to work hives.
    I agree, He should know. but in his quote, I am not saying it is his exact words. but the writer of the article says he does not even know if he needs to treat. and that stands out to me. And this is one of those Successful business owners presumably following a Successful model for keeping bees.

    I also agree that large sale beekeeping would be modeled on what has been proven successful. But not on what is best. IT is quite often models are only developed to the point of success, not excellence. and there is a difference. It also appears to me that much of the model for beekeeping is based upon 100 year old or older developments. I am not so sure I agree that beekeeping is keeping pace with the rest of agriculture. You can pick thing here and their. beekeepers use machines for example. but agricultural methods are in large a system. and you have to have the entire system for it to work. You cannot necessarily pick and choose certain parts of that system and still expect it to work. A simple example, you can breed and manage bees into a condition of dependency on chemicals. You cannot then realize problems with that path and then suddenly decide to abandon it. You have to breed the bees off that dependance first. In addition some agricultural models that have worked for everyone else have proven to not work for beekeepers. And as other areas of agriculture have bred entire breeds of animals. beekeeping has found the same methods lead to the near destruction of there animals. The mechanism for this was not known for a very long time. I can only imagine what it has been like for beekeepers to impart the vary same methods that lead others to success only to find it is harmful to them. consistently so. There must be many beekeepers that have stood in their apiary seriously wondering if they are hated by god.

    You are right I do not know what it is like to manage thousands of hives. I do know what it is like to manage 60,000 chickens. over 160 breeder dogs. over 700 rabbits assist another breeder with over 5000 rabbits. Own a hog operation of over 30 head. tend the family horse and help my brother raise a steer. while being the primary operator for a 100 acre wheat farm. All at the same time I was going to school. And that was at the age of 16. I had to grow up and get serious after that.
    Last edited by Daniel Y; 12-23-2012 at 08:52 AM.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Are we trapped by treatments?

    >>I do know what it is like to manage 60,00 chickens.

    I see, it makes sense now.

    I guess the difference between you and I is that I see success in how our industry has developed, you see the failure. Our model of agriculture is a complex structure and your are absolutely right we can not pick and choose certain parts and expect the whole system to follow suit. Like a baseball player swinging a bat, got to follow through on your swing.
    I like the comment Jim made about his >>"less can be better" phenomena << I completely agree. And I try to focus not only my beekeeping operation on this idea but also the whole farm in general. And Daniel, that is the way our model of agriculture is starting to lean towards. You may not see it right now, but it is what consumers are demanding >>TO A POINT<< and are starting to shift their spending dollars in that direction.

    Take the very simple action of honey house registration. Once a beekeeper registers his honey house that honey will be extracted under strict standards. Not only does the registration ensure proper sanitation, but it brings in a process to track and identify product problems. Documentation goes right back to the beehive where all treatments are documented.
    Tell me one thing, how are all these beekeepers who use off label treatments going to participate in a program which forces them to document off label treatments. Cant happen, and they cant just not document it. Liability falls right on their lap.
    So Daniel, in a round about way, these beekeepers that your generally referring to will either be forced to shape up or they will go out of business.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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